What is Computer Controlled Engraving?

What is Computer Controlled Engraving?

Also known as laser cutting, computer controlled engraving has changed the way many products are now produced. From simple plaques to engraving detailed graphics into wood or three-dimensional decorative objects, it can be used to achieve a number of effects in several materials. 

We explore a few of the things that can be made with computer controlled engraving and how to create your own designs for laser cutting or engraving. 

What is Computer Controlled Engraving?

Computer controlled engraving typically relies on a machine that uses laser cutting technology. It requires a laser beam to precisely cut or engrave material based on a preset design programmed into a machine or computer system.

These designs can now be incredibly complex and sophisticated. Compared to other processes that use lasers, engraving is where a laser beam removes parts of the top material but does not cut all the way through the material, whether that’s wood, metal or something else. 

The laser is basically a highly focused and amplified light beam that causes the material to burn, melt or vaporize. The power of this laser and what can be achieved will depend on the specific type of machine that you use. 

Development of Engraving Technology

Before modern engraving equipment, a handheld tool was used to engrave an object. Today, this method is still used but mostly for more intricate, decorative purposes, like jewellery making and small decorative pieces.

Today, most engraving tools are controlled by a computer and CAD precision programming that allows us to achieve flawlessly accurate designs very quickly. These machines are widely available and fairly simple to use but are still best wielded by experts who understand how to get the most out of the process and materials. 

While the engraving equipment will consist of a marking tool or stylus, this will be controlled by a machine and operating system. This controller, or computer, will determine the laser's direction and application to achieve the intended design and effect, regarding depth and shape.

As well as many commercial uses, like marking high-value items and preventing counterfeiting, engraving is commonly used today for decorative purposes and business-related signage and branding.  

To inscribe a pattern or image onto the surface of an object, engraving can be used to achieve great accuracy and a clean precise finish.

One of the biggest benefits of engraving is that it can be an incredibly quick process depending on the intricacy of the pattern or design. At Culzean Gifts, we offer a quick turnaround even for the most complex of customized designs and can arrange the production of large volumes for commercial applications with reliable efficiency.

Manual engraving, while still a true craft that only the most talented and experienced can perform, generally takes longer and is unsuitable for some commercial purposes. Computer controlled engraving allows us to deliver intricate, permanent designs in a range of materials at very quick speeds.

What Materials Work with Engraving?

Laser machines are capable of cutting and engraving a variety of materials.

  • Most wood types
  • Glass & perspex
  • Most metals
  • Rubber sheets
  • Cardboard sheets
  • Slate
  • Ceramics
  • Acrylics
  • Plastics
  • Stone

A few things we’re able to engrave are: 

  • Business signage 
  • Memorial plaques
  • Mimic panels 
  • Interior signage (directions and public information)
  • Electrical accessories 
  • Valve tags 
  • Door signs 
  • Badges

Start Engraving Today

If you have something in mind that you want to engrave, get in touch with us and we’ll tell you if it’s possible. 

Even if you can’t find your product on our online store, we might be able to find a way to do it with the technology and materials we have available to us.

January 15, 2021 — Paul Winrow